(STS121-S-002, 5 April 2006) --- These seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-121 crew portrait. From the left are astronauts Stephanie D. Wilson, Michael E. Fossum, both mission specialists; Steven W. Lindsey, commander; Piers J. Sellers, mission specialist; Mark E. Kelly, pilot; European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany; and Lisa M. Nowak, both mission specialists. The crewmembers are attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suit.
Left: (STS121-S002, 04 January 2005) --- These six astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-121 crew portrait. From the left are astronaut Stephanie D. Wilson, Michael E. Fossum, both mission specialists; Steven W. Lindsey, commander; Piers J. Sellers, mission specialist; Mark E. Kelly, pilot; and Lisa M. Nowak, mission specialist.
(STS121-S-001, June 2005) --- The STS-121 patch depicts the Space Shuttle Atlantis docked with the International Space Station (ISS) in the foreground, overlaying the astronaut symbol with three gold columns and a gold star. The ISS is shown in the configuration that it will be in during the STS-121 mission. The background shows the nighttime Earth with a dawn breaking over the horizon. STS-121, ISS mission ULF1.1, is the final Shuttle Return to Flight test mission. This utilization and logistics flight will bring a multipurpose logistics module (MPLM) to the ISS with several thousand pounds of new supplies and experiments. In addition, some new orbital replacement units (ORUs) will be delivered and stowed externally on ISS on a special pallet. These ORUs are spares for critical machinery located on the outside of the ISS. During this mission the crew will also carry out testing of Shuttle inspection and repair hardware, as well as evaluate operational techniques and concepts for conducting on-orbit inspection and repair.
Europe's first long-duration mission to the International Space Station has been named Astrolab. The name Astrolab, was chosen in memory of Martin Behaim (1459-1507), a famous German cartographer, mapmaker, navigator and explorer, who is famous for making developments in the astrolabe.
This important navigation instrument was a great improvement on the primitive quadrant then in use for measuring the altitude of the Sun. The astrolabe was used in order to determine location, distance and time. It was this new astrolabe that Christopher Columbus used as a navigation aid on his voyage to the Americas in 1492.
Astrolab also refers to ASTROnauts and to LABoratory. This name suggests that this first long duration mission of a European astronaut on the ISS is describing the navigation path for the utilisation of the Columbus laboratory in future exploration.
The principal form in the logo comes from two circles, with the outermost circle split into 24 sections. This portrays the form of an astrolabe. The border of the innermost circle takes its colours from the German flag, highlighting the nationality of ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter.
The destination of the long-duration mission, the International Space Station, is shown as a central symbol in the logo. This is framed by two sets of stars. The three bright stars to the left symbolize the three members of the ISS Expedition 13 crew. The 17 smaller stars in the background represent the ESA Member States.
Above: These are the STS-121 patches Randy Hunt made.